Who was Dr John More?

An essay by Richard H. Turner – July 2018

John More, a Catholic recusant physician, has been a footnote figure – having left behind almost no writings of his own, a somewhat shadowy bit-part player on the early Stuart public stage. This essay draws on contemporary national, local, ecclesiastical, medical and family records, as well as subsequent historical and biographical material, to establish his contribution to the social, political and economic context of his times. Again and again paradox is encountered, exemplifying Shakespeare’s observation that – in the seventeenth century at any rate – ‘one man in his time plays many parts’. Underlying Dr More’s activities and aspirations can be detected ambition to advance both his religion and his kin. Consequently he and his heirs became involved, over three generations, in numerous and contrasting fields of action – medicine, politics, commerce, military service, the Church, landholding. As with all human endeavour, the actual outcomes reflect the impact of unforeseeable events, social change, personal foibles, and mere chance. Part 2 of this essay examines this working out of his legacy – both religious and material – by his heirs, in search of a fuller answer to the question Who was Dr John More?


This is a comprehensive essay in two parts, with extensive appendices and endnotes. It is presented in the form of 20 PDF files, accessible from the menu below. Each PDF will open in a separate tab, so that the reader may easily toggle between two or more files.

Author’s Note
Prefatory Comments
Article Contents

Part 1 – a Multifaceted Career
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3
Appendix 4
Appendix 5

Part 2 – Who was Dr John More?
Appendix 6
Appendix 7
Appendix 8
Appendix 9
Appendix 10
Appendix 11

MORE of Thelwall and Kirklington
Descendants of VAUDREY of Riddings and Bank
Descendants of WHITMORE of Thursaston
MORE and related families

The author, Richard H. Turner, may be contacted directly at kirklington@yahoo.com

2 thoughts on “Who was Dr John More?”

  1. Hi I am PhD student and I have been reading your book on Thames Valley papists and was interested to hear you mention that there were eighty JP’s by the end of James reign that were Catholic . I would be interested what sources you used to come up with figure as I am looking into Catholic political participation in the sixteenth and seventeenth century with a specific focus on Oxford.

    1. Hi Amy,
      The source was Edward Norman’s 1986 book ‘Roman Catholicism in England’, page 34, paragraph 1, where in the last sentence he writes ‘At the end of the reign [of James I] there were some eighty Catholic Justices of the Peace, and two High Sheriffs; and in 1624 the Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury observed that Catholics “go by the thousand to mass”.’ Edward Norman is an emeritus fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, so you may be able to contact him for information about his source. All the best for the success of your PhD.
      Regards,
      Tony

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